Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Screed, Crayfish, Defenders and Demolition!

Firstly, apologies for a lack of updates recently - we've been really busy at AnAcreInHampshire. We have tried to get all the 'big and messy' jobs out of the way first - the thinking being that we might not want to knock down walls in a pristine, freshly decorated room. With the deadline of our Housewarming Party looming large, we have been pressing on whenever possible - and fitting work around our full time jobs isn't always easy!

The last of our messy jobs was to open up our landing - before we had a stairwell, and now we have a lovely open landing. This pic was taken mid way through the works - all the uprights bar one are now gone, and the void is drylined and being filled as we speak...

I've also raised the floor in our dining room - this comprised half of the space created when our large internal wall was removed, and there was a step halfway across the room. I took the opportunity to insulate under the new chipboard floors with 40mm Celotex - and a fringe benefit is that the floor no longer bounces when you walk across the room! This did leave the hearth surrounding the main fireplace about 65mm lower than the rest of the floor - not ideal. Que a trip to Wickes (other DIY stores are available...) to look at self levelling screed. We chose the deep base stuff - http://www.wickes.co.uk/deep-base-levelling-compound-20kg/invt/154050/ - not because it was most suitable, but bucause it was in the 'split bags' bin reduced from £17.49 a bag to £2.50 a bag! I've poured three 20kg bags so far and it needs at least one more to fill to a suitable depth to tile...

A new Land Rover also inhabits AnAcreInHampshire towers now - an ex-Police 110 TD5 Station Wagon. It is scheduled for a full rebuild with a galvanised chassis, Puma engine and drivetrain and new body and interior. There will be just enough of the original to satisfy the DVLA's restored vehicle regulations - another job to do before the winter!

Lastly, our new neighbor Graham reported an interesting find on a recent walk - a crayfish trap that was alive with American Signal Crayfish. I shot down to the spot and sure enough he was right - the trap mush have held 30 of the invasive species. This was just the stimulus I needed - I have submitted an application for a trapping license and have ordered an otter-friendly trap. When I next see our other neighbor I'll ask permission to fish - and then we are set up for a lifetime supply of crayfish for the barbeque! More reading here; http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/38045.aspx